Get ready to soak up the fun for one of the planet’s biggest LGBTQ celebrations

By : Jeremy Williams
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What started out nearly three decades ago as a day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom for LGBTQ families has turned into one of the largest, and most lucrative, LGBTQ events in the world.

The first week of June in Central Florida brings over 150,000 LGBTQ people from across the globe to the state and generates millions of dollars every year for the local economy, and this year is without exception.

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The Other Side of Life: Totem polls

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Who might have imagined that the irrelevance of Hollywood would become a totem to the nation writ large in the age of Trump? When I say totem, of course, I intend to conjure images of poles: the biggest poles, polls that now accurately misstate everything from presidential popularity to Academy Award winners.

We are pole-driven, metaphor-driven partisans who have bought into cults of personality if only for the fleeting moments needed to crush other cults. In 2017, we pit irrelevant reality stars against their replacements as if one were the President of the United States and the other were the former governor of California.

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ roars with monstrous $170M debut

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s live-action “Beauty” was a beast at the box office, opening with an estimated $170 million in North American ticket sales and setting a new high mark for family movies.

“Beauty and the Beast” blew past the previous record-holder for G- or PG-rated releases, according to studio estimates Sunday. Last year, Disney’s “Finding Dory” debuted with a then-PG-best $135 million.

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Russia gives “Beauty and the Beast” equivalent of R-rating due to gay character

By : Wire Report
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MOSCOW (AP) – Children under age 16 won’t be able to go to the new Disney film “Beauty and the Beast” in Russia because it includes a gay character, the Russian Culture Ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry told The Associated Press in an emailed statement that its decision for the 16-plus rating followed petitions by lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, known for his ultraconservative views, petitioned for the live-action film to be banned.

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Gay moment nixes ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Alabama drive-in

By : Wire Report
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HENAGAR, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama drive-in theater won’t show a new re-telling of the classic fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast” because one of its characters is portrayed as homosexual.

A Facebook post for the Henagar Drive-In Theatre says its operators are “first and foremost Christians” and will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. They said they will show family-oriented films so customers can “watch wholesome movies.”

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‘Beauty and The Beast’ will feature Disney’s first gay character

By : Jeremy Williams
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Disney continues its trend of converting their arsenal of animated classics into live-action movies with the release of Beauty and the Beast March 17, but this transfer to the three-dimensional world features something not found in the original: Disney’s first gay character.

In an interview with Attitude magazine, the film’s director Bill Condon mentions the character of LeFou, sidekick to the main villain Gaston and played by Josh Gad, as part of a subplot that touches on sexuality.

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Screened Out – Disney’s Moana

By : Stephen Miller
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Voices of Dwayne Johnson, Auli’i Cravalho, Jermaine Clemente, Nicole Scherzinger

Pacific Islander folklore meets Broadway-style tunes and 3D computer animation – could it possibly work? Yes, it can!

Disney does what they do best, breaking ground and making merchandise. But this time, a plucky heroine and a goofy demigod challenge the typical template. And then great vocal talent, snappy tunes, and scene after scene of absolutely breathtaking scenery bring Moana to life.

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Screened Out – The Secret Life of Pets

By : Stephen Miller
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Voices of Louis CK, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jennie Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks

Pet lovers are often animation lovers, too, I know, looking to our animals for wildly, colorful entertainment – like living cartoons. We search online for videos of puppies who act like goofballs or kittens who don’t quite make the jump. The Secret Life of Pets taps into that great slapstick so many of us love.

It is a good thing the characters – as shallow as they are – and the shtick liven things up. The story in Pets is really a retelling of the first Toy Story, where the established dog/toy gets displaced by the new dog/toy. A rivalry ensues that takes both of these enemies far outside, far from their comfort zones, and then they must band together to survive the cruel out-of-doors and find their ways back home.

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Some excellent summer reading choices for your hearts and minds

By : Watermark Staff
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You know the drill. It’s incredibly humid and everything is sticking to your hair. Your sweat rings are now a sign of empowerment and not a reason for embarrassment. You’ve got this. This is Florida, the place you go to in order to remove your shirt anyway, but for reasons of distraction – even enlightenment, despite the sun – it’s also a chance to let your eyes wander across pages. To that end, we present a not-at-all comprehensive review of lit-bits that we’ve been handling; some with local ties, some not. Now put on your tanning butter and get to riding the consonants into the vowels. Reading is learning, and learning is fun. Have a great summer!

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Disney comps LGBT youth for Gay Day at Magic Kingdom

By : Jamie Hyman
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A gaggle of red-shirt-wearing LGBT youth will converge upon the Magic Kingdom June 4, thanks to a donation of comped tickets from Disney to the Zebra Coalition.

According to Zebra executive director Heather Wilkie, 60 people are going: 45 youths and 15 chaperones.

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Idina Menzel responds to fan petition to give Frozen’s queen a girlfriend

By : Jeremy Williams
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frozen 2Twitter is not going to let it go.

When a Disney fan tweeted to the House of Mouse’s official Twitter page asking for them to give Elsa, the lead character in the Disney animated film Frozen, a female love interest in the upcoming sequel; it stirred up social media. The original message has been re-tweeted more than 2,200 times and sent the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend to Twitter’s trending list.

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Wedding Bells at Watermark: Mark Badley and Jason Newkirk

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Mark Badley and Jason Newkirk

Photo by Castaldo Studio

“Mark is wonderful and will go along with all the crazy schemes and everything I come up with – and he’s always there beside me, loving me and supporting me no matter how crazy my little mind can go,” Jason says.

When Jason Newkirk, a writer and office manager for a production company, first met Mark Badley, a pharmacy buyer, he was at a loss for words, which isn’t like Jason, being a person who always has something to say.

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